Has anyone here ever beaten an addiction?

TSE

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 25, 2007
3,091
819
St. Paul, Minnesota
Currently dealing with fighting a problem that has plagued me since childhood. Been getting professional help and it's been a very long road. I lose motivation to fight when things are going "ok". I'm becoming more aware of the patterns in life that lead to me falling down again, I'm just not sure how to break them. I almost wish I would hit rock bottom and everything crash down in my life so that I am backed into a corner and can't hide from it anymore.

Any good stories or personal experiences here?
 

yaxomoxay

macrumors demi-god
Mar 3, 2010
4,683
28,318
Texas
I'm just not sure how to break them.
My understanding is that you can't really break an addiction. However, you can force yourself in either avoiding the situation or refuse to engage into the destructive behavior.

My suggestion? Find a philosophy of life you can agree with. Without a philosophy we just think in terms of technicalities. With a philosophy, you manage your life. Minimalism, for example, can help people to stop being in debt. With Crossfit/MartialArts/Athletics, you can prevent drinking alcohol and eating junk food because it would be detrimental to your lifestyle. With Digital Minimalism you can prevent being on social media 4 hours a day just by doing random 5 minutes checks. With Stoicism you will think in different terms entirely. A well formed philosophy is much stronger than anything else (and yes, in my opinion it can also be religion/spiritual oriented).

My 2c (disclaimer: I am a random dude on the internet. I have no formal training etc. so I am just providing my point of view.)

As for addictions, I think that I was addicted to social media and tech in general (destroyed with Digital Minimalism and Deep Work philosophy). I was also mildly addicted to beer, I stopped when I started thinking in both Stoic terms and as a Martial artist (a sucker at it, but a Martial artist nonetheless).
My other addiction is coffee, but I ain't giving that away!
 

LizKat

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2004
6,512
35,424
Catskill Mountains
Any good stories or personal experiences here?
I am in long term and sustained recovery from alcoholism since 1978. Mainly what I can offer by way of help is just that a sustainable recovery from any addiction seems to take willingness to stay engaged with other people who, if they are "professionals" do really understand addiction... and otherwise hang out with at least a few other people who are also in long term recovery themselves.

As active addicts in the past, we have been pretty unreliable narrators of our own capabilities, desires, intentions and even accomplishments, right? Otherwise how did we end up in trouble again after deciding ok this is not for me, I'm swearing off it...

We may tend to blame ourselves for stuff that's not our fault, but we don't take responsibility for what really is on us. And we might say "Well if you had a boss / spouse / parent / kid like mine..." etc. Any excuse will do when we're about to give up on ourselves one more time and invite active addiction back into the room for another round of self-destruction.

Right, so none of those patterns just goes away when we do quit actively feeding an addiction. They linger and need attention and awareness of their somehow sneaking back into action again. It was suggested to me that I always --like every day-- treat my sobriety, my freedom from my formerly active addiction, as if that freedom is very very fragile, in order to make it strong and not become a gift just taken for granted.

I was helped to attain and then learn how to retain freedom from active addiction to alcohol by a counselor at an employee assistance program, a psychiatrist and a whole bunch of people in 12-step programs, both Al-Anon and Alcoholics Anonymous.

The message there for me is that total self reliance in addiction treatment seems very risky. We were experts as active addicts at kidding ourselves, right? I sure was.

Left to our own devices in early recovery, we may start figuring we have beat the addiction and then someday it may suddenly seem like the sidewalks run right up to a palatial pile of whatever it is we're addicted to using or doing. Or it may seem like just one dip back into the old life is no big deal. That's BS but we might need help to remember that.

Last summer I celebrated 40 years of being, as we say, "one drink away" from my active addiction to alcohol. I don't "manage my non-drinking". I just don't drink today, and I don't put that on autopilot, it's a moment spent every day as a simple but conscious decision, and in gratitude that I have been helped by so many people to remember it's important to me to not use alcohol. I have said so... and they'd be willing to remind me of that if I faltered and started acting like I did not really value my freedom from active addiction.

Even the other addicts I've subsequently tried to help myself, people who asked for help but then fell away to ruin or who are dead now have helped me. It's much more fun thinking about the recoveries of some of those who believe I have played a part in their new lives, but the lost souls have left an impression on me that is just as indelible.

Anyone can recover... but not everyone does. We have choices that are important to make consciously each day, to put us among those who do achieve long term recovery.

I wish you good fortune ahead. I'd say forget trying to beat addiction, just mind the pitfalls of a potential relapse -- "people, places, things" that can lead back to active addiction-- and celebrate with others now and then the joy of freedom from it instead. It makes it easier to turn down opportunities to throw all that away when some random chance to do so turns up yet again. Pick up the phone before that happens and talk it over with someone who understands where you are coming from.

It's not great to wrestle with this stuff by ourselves, because that old unreliable narrator in our own head is not on our side in a situation like that

Reach out to someone you've shared happiness with over being free of the active addiction. That person in a good space is a reliable story teller. He or she will remind you then of what you said you wanted from a life that was free of what you may sometimes struggle to leave behind for one more day or hour. We all have moments of vulnerability, but they don't have to mean that we throw our freedom away just because we wish we could handle everything without help from another human being. Again, the best of luck to you going forward.
 

Sword86

macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2012
267
114
Yup, but prefer not to make it public here.
Circumstances took place that lessened my access to it, hence my usage, and I had been seeing distinct signs it was messing me up physically and of course financially, so I decided it was time to stop. I did this by removing myself from my environment for a month to a location where it would be a reasonable hassle to continue use of it. That was the key for me. I was able to see where I was headed and didn’t like what I saw. Done. It will be 15 years next August. It rarely even enters my mind anymore, and on the very odd occasion that it does I simply give it no further thought whatsoever. Now I think I just had poor willpower over it. I liked it a lot, but now when I look back I don’t really even think I was an addict, if that makes any sense. S
 

a2jack

macrumors 6502
Feb 5, 2013
482
319
I fought a 20 year two pack + a day smoking addiction.

Even now, after not having a cigarette in over 40 yeas, the urge to smoke slips into the back of my mind. Even writing this is a risk... I can taste it now.

You can only win over an addiction by quitting over and over...Till the day you die .


Keep quitting folks, and never say the word "Try". a2
 

Not-Sure

Suspended
Mar 6, 2019
46
154
I have a friend who is a cutie and she had problems with alcohol and bad, I believe drugs too. She went to rehab. basically, the thing is this... You will stop and NEVER try again. When you stop, you stop, if you have a sip that means that you didn't stop, it means you just took a break. When you realize you are doing your addiction again.

You have to leave it, get distracted and create another path. Addictions will be there, ready. Just ignore it. The mission is to learn to ignore the addiction and it will lose strength. NEVER overestimate yourself, if you try a bit, you will be back and everything was lost.

Imagine sleeping in the same bed with your ex and ignore her. Until one day you just walk around the house doing your life and she has no effect on you. THAT is the addiction being resolved. One day she is just part of the furniture. If you talk to her again, you are into the relationship again.
 
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Strider64

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2015
785
2,979
Suburb of Detroit
I remember talking to an alcoholic who quit drinking and I said "Hey, it great that you're a former drinker". His response kind of surprise me, but it made sense. His response was "No, I'm not a former drinker, I'm an Alcoholic. I have to take one day at a time and I have to quit drinking everyday. If I should happen to relapse I have to start all over with AA meetings and get in contact with my sponsor. However, the most important thing is that I want to be helped, I want to need to quit". Obviously it's not quoted verbosely as I don't have that great of a memory; however, for the most part it is accurate. I feel for addicts and I hope I continue to have the willpower never to give into addiction.
 

bruinsrme

macrumors 604
Oct 26, 2008
6,596
2,350
I have a friend who is a cutie and she had problems with alcohol and bad, I believe drugs too. She went to rehab. basically, the thing is this... You will stop and NEVER try again. When you stop, you stop, if you have a sip that means that you didn't stop, it means you just took a break. When you realize you are doing your addiction again.

You have to leave it, get distracted and create another path. Addictions will be there, ready. Just ignore it. The mission is to learn to ignore the addiction and it will lose strength. NEVER overestimate yourself, if you try a bit, you will be back and everything was lost.

Imagine sleeping in the same bed with your ex and ignore her. Until one day you just walk around the house doing your life and she has no effect on you. THAT is the addiction being resolved. One day she is just part of the furniture. If you talk to her again, you are into the relationship again.
Interesting analogy.

I agree with the taking of different paths.

I’m struggling with relationships with the Mrs. your statement is true, at least in my case. When I go weeks without any sort of communication I feel better as each day goes on. Then when there is contact, guess what, yeah I feel crappy.

I have learned every time I walk by my hockey bag I get the same feeling as I do when I see a bottle of vodka (been sober for 3 years). Hockey has a strange effect on me, very similar to drinking. I fight not going to the rink but when I get there I don’t want to leave. Tough to explain.

But back to your point. A relationship can be just as toxic as an addiction.
 

A.Goldberg

macrumors 68020
Jan 31, 2015
2,371
8,718
Boston
Currently dealing with fighting a problem that has plagued me since childhood. Been getting professional help and it's been a very long road. I lose motivation to fight when things are going "ok". I'm becoming more aware of the patterns in life that lead to me falling down again, I'm just not sure how to break them. I almost wish I would hit rock bottom and everything crash down in my life so that I am backed into a corner and can't hide from it anymore.

Any good stories or personal experiences here?
I’m not an addict myself but I provide healthcare to people struggling with addiction- anywhere from 50-75% of my patients at any given time. The short answer to your question is yes, people can overcome their addiction.

You do not have to reach rock bottom to change your life. The fact that you’re reaching out here is really courageous and shows that you do want to change.

Recovery for many is a long and challenging. As I’m sure you know, it takes many people many tries and many years to get on track. I think largely because of 12 step programs people get so hung up on time, and to some extent it is important, but it’s not everything. Every relapse or slip up they feel like they’re back to square 1. That’s not the case. Every stint of sobriety is a learning experience, as is every relapse. Some of my patients with long term sobriety tell me their last relapse was the best thing that ever happened because it gave the clarity they needed.

I work of a psych hospital and am a part owner of a residential psych/addiction dual diagnosis program (though we have plenty of people who really are just addiction patients- depression/anxiety pretty much comes with the territory of early recovery).

I’ve seen a lot of long term success stories which is really inspiring. I have many coworkers who have overcome horrible situations and addictions and who are happy, healthy, productive members of society who are brilliant at what they do.

I encourage you to reach out to your support system and if necessary maybe find a different provider or level of professional care. Your profile says “school” - idk if thats up to date but if you’re young, I can tell you the #1 theme I see is a lack of direction and purpose in life. If you don’t feel like you have meaning in life, what is there to be sober for? To compound it, people struggling with addiction may have aspirations but their self esteem is so low that their goals just seem too far out of reach. I’m not sure if this applies to you, but I really wish more recovery programs looked at this.

I sincerely wish you the best. Please continue reach out to us. I’m sure everyone here would be happy to do what we can to support you.
 

YaBe

Cancelled
Oct 5, 2017
867
1,528
Currently dealing with fighting a problem that has plagued me since childhood. Been getting professional help and it's been a very long road. I lose motivation to fight when things are going "ok". I'm becoming more aware of the patterns in life that lead to me falling down again, I'm just not sure how to break them. I almost wish I would hit rock bottom and everything crash down in my life so that I am backed into a corner and can't hide from it anymore.

Any good stories or personal experiences here?
I am about in the same boat, I start project fully charged, but when i get say 80% done for me it's done and lose motivation, it's like...eh what the hell the rest is easy.

My ideal solution would be to have a team taking up on the 20% i have left so they can accomplish my project and I can focus on the "next big thing"....but it will never happen.

Sometimes i just think of myself as a visionary, and for them it is more the concept and seeing it getting done than actually see the finished product as it is surpassed anywhay by the time it gets "released", other times i just think of myself as a lazy person who doesn't want to finish things.

When I do beat my lazyness and finish the project, I usually NEVER attempt the same project again, as for me it is a done deal, I beat that challenge and it would annoy me doing it again.

I believe, the way to break the "pattern" is to avoid being bored by the part you need to finish (that infamous 20%)trying to find ways to make it "a challenge".
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
19,261
21,270
The Misty Mountains
Currently dealing with fighting a problem that has plagued me since childhood. Been getting professional help and it's been a very long road. I lose motivation to fight when things are going "ok". I'm becoming more aware of the patterns in life that lead to me falling down again, I'm just not sure how to break them. I almost wish I would hit rock bottom and everything crash down in my life so that I am backed into a corner and can't hide from it anymore.

Any good stories or personal experiences here?
For all intents and purposes, my Dad has beaten two addictions: alcohol and smoking.

For alcohol, it required a divorce, AA, a halfway house, and his decision, that he had reached his bottom, and it was time to change or lose everything and maybe die. That was his perception and decision to make a change. Living as a child, teen, and adult in this environment, my observation, that besides encouragement and support, that ultimately it is the individual who decides when they need to change.

As far as a cigarette addiction, he tried to quit smoking for 30 years, tried multiple cures, and what finally worked was when he had to face a growth on his bladder and an aneurysm. He took his pack of cigarettes, placed them on the doctor’s desk and stopped cold turkey, about 10 years ago.

I admit, my story is not really inspirational, but is just evidence that with the right assistance, information, ramifications, negative impact, and most importantly personal perspective and motivation, addictions can be broken, when the individual decides or has the ability to decide they have had enough of the addiction status quo.
[doublepost=1557409059][/doublepost]
I’m not an addict myself but I provide healthcare to people struggling with addiction- anywhere from 50-75% of my patients at any given time. The short answer to your question is yes, people can overcome their addiction.

You do not have to reach rock bottom to change your life. The fact that you’re reaching out here is really courageous and shows that you do want to change.

Recovery for many is a long and challenging. As I’m sure you know, it takes many people many tries and many years to get on track. I think largely because of 12 step programs people get so hung up on time, and to some extent it is important, but it’s not everything. Every relapse or slip up they feel like they’re back to square 1. That’s not the case. Every stint of sobriety is a learning experience, as is every relapse. Some of my patients with long term sobriety tell me their last relapse was the best thing that ever happened because it gave the clarity they needed.

I work of a psych hospital and am a part owner of a residential psych/addiction dual diagnosis program (though we have plenty of people who really are just addiction patients- depression/anxiety pretty much comes with the territory of early recovery).

I’ve seen a lot of long term success stories which is really inspiring. I have many coworkers who have overcome horrible situations and addictions and who are happy, healthy, productive members of society who are brilliant at what they do.

I encourage you to reach out to your support system and if necessary maybe find a different provider or level of professional care. Your profile says “school” - idk if thats up to date but if you’re young, I can tell you the #1 theme I see is a lack of direction and purpose in life. If you don’t feel like you have meaning in life, what is there to be sober for? To compound it, people struggling with addiction may have aspirations but their self esteem is so low that their goals just seem too far out of reach. I’m not sure if this applies to you, but I really wish more recovery programs looked at this.

I sincerely wish you the best. Please continue reach out to us. I’m sure everyone here would be happy to do what we can to support you.
Agreed! But I’ll add, that rock bottom is a variable personal standard.
[doublepost=1557409102][/doublepost]
I am in long term and sustained recovery from alcoholism since 1978. Mainly what I can offer by way of help is just that a sustainable recovery from any addiction seems to take willingness to stay engaged with other people who, if they are "professionals" do really understand addiction... and otherwise hang out with at least a few other people who are also in long term recovery themselves.

As active addicts in the past, we have been pretty unreliable narrators of our own capabilities, desires, intentions and even accomplishments, right? Otherwise how did we end up in trouble again after deciding ok this is not for me, I'm swearing off it...

We may tend to blame ourselves for stuff that's not our fault, but we don't take responsibility for what really is on us. And we might say "Well if you had a boss / spouse / parent / kid like mine..." etc. Any excuse will do when we're about to give up on ourselves one more time and invite active addiction back into the room for another round of self-destruction.

Right, so none of those patterns just goes away when we do quit actively feeding an addiction. They linger and need attention and awareness of their somehow sneaking back into action again. It was suggested to me that I always --like every day-- treat my sobriety, my freedom from my formerly active addiction, as if that freedom is very very fragile, in order to make it strong and not become a gift just taken for granted.

I was helped to attain and then learn how to retain freedom from active addiction to alcohol by a counselor at an employee assistance program, a psychiatrist and a whole bunch of people in 12-step programs, both Al-Anon and Alcoholics Anonymous.

The message there for me is that total self reliance in addiction treatment seems very risky. We were experts as active addicts at kidding ourselves, right? I sure was.

Left to our own devices in early recovery, we may start figuring we have beat the addiction and then someday it may suddenly seem like the sidewalks run right up to a palatial pile of whatever it is we're addicted to using or doing. Or it may seem like just one dip back into the old life is no big deal. That's BS but we might need help to remember that.

Last summer I celebrated 40 years of being, as we say, "one drink away" from my active addiction to alcohol. I don't "manage my non-drinking". I just don't drink today, and I don't put that on autopilot, it's a moment spent every day as a simple but conscious decision, and in gratitude that I have been helped by so many people to remember it's important to me to not use alcohol. I have said so... and they'd be willing to remind me of that if I faltered and started acting like I did not really value my freedom from active addiction.

Even the other addicts I've subsequently tried to help myself, people who asked for help but then fell away to ruin or who are dead now have helped me. It's much more fun thinking about the recoveries of some of those who believe I have played a part in their new lives, but the lost souls have left an impression on me that is just as indelible.

Anyone can recover... but not everyone does. We have choices that are important to make consciously each day, to put us among those who do achieve long term recovery.

I wish you good fortune ahead. I'd say forget trying to beat addiction, just mind the pitfalls of a potential relapse -- "people, places, things" that can lead back to active addiction-- and celebrate with others now and then the joy of freedom from it instead. It makes it easier to turn down opportunities to throw all that away when some random chance to do so turns up yet again. Pick up the phone before that happens and talk it over with someone who understands where you are coming from.

It's not great to wrestle with this stuff by ourselves, because that old unreliable narrator in our own head is not on our side in a situation like that

Reach out to someone you've shared happiness with over being free of the active addiction. That person in a good space is a reliable story teller. He or she will remind you then of what you said you wanted from a life that was free of what you may sometimes struggle to leave behind for one more day or hour. We all have moments of vulnerability, but they don't have to mean that we throw our freedom away just because we wish we could handle everything without help from another human being. Again, the best of luck to you going forward.
Thanks for sharing! :)
 
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Gutwrench

Contributor
Jan 2, 2011
4,530
10,409
I feel fortunate not having had to break one or have had a medical condition requiring a dramatic change in lifestyle.
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
19,261
21,270
The Misty Mountains
Quitting coffee was pretty easy, although I think it was an addiction. I’m still fighting with sugar have been fighting it all my life, although I went through a 25 year period of a vigorous exercise routine in combination with relative youth, where it faded into the background.
 

Matz

Contributor
Apr 25, 2015
873
1,227
Rural Southern Virginia
Beating an addiction is an attractive concept. But as some others here have pointed out, you don’t really beat it. You just stop practicing it.

And simply stopping, without an effective plan for living without that substance or activity, is a grim approach.

In my experience, the alternative to practicing an addiction has to be much more attractive for it to work over time.

Various approaches exist. Each has its adherents. Do some reading. Talk with people who have successfully stopped practicing their addictions - over time.

And beware of the miracle drug or quick fix. There is no free lunch.

That said, I believe we humans are built with the capacity to grow and thrive when challenged, and are at our very best when we choose to grow through the recognition and embrace of the role of resistance in our lives. Physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Seek well.
 

iluvmacs99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2019
585
385
Currently dealing with fighting a problem that has plagued me since childhood. Been getting professional help and it's been a very long road. I lose motivation to fight when things are going "ok". I'm becoming more aware of the patterns in life that lead to me falling down again, I'm just not sure how to break them. I almost wish I would hit rock bottom and everything crash down in my life so that I am backed into a corner and can't hide from it anymore.

Any good stories or personal experiences here?
I have and I don't mind sharing my personal experience here.

I had a sexual addiction since my early teen and at least, it started rather innocently like looking under a girl's skirt or finding ways to touch their breasts and their genitals. And I was very good at it and at lying and in manipulating the women I want. Now, this took me a very long time to recover from this addiction and only when I hit rock bottom, almost dying of appendicitis on the hospital bed, that I realized that I'm better than this and god had given me a second chance.

Before hitting rock bottom, I tried every form and treatment available, but what those do would only mask the symptoms. If I'm not sexually active, I would do something else to the extreme to fill the void like shopping, escaping away on vacations etc, running an ultra-marathon or bike long distances . It was the feeling of this internal pressure; something I need to get done that I wasn't willing to do, and that is facing my true fears. The addiction(s) helped relieve the pressure temporarily, but this pressure gets bigger and bigger and you almost always need more stimulant/escape to calm this inner pressure. I had a number of fears in my life, but one in particular was being fully transparent, being truthful to myself of who I am and what my real needs are. I think that when I was younger, I was the child that would always tell an honest truth. I didn't have any second thoughts in doing that and it always felt good except one day, bill collectors came looking for my father and he was hiding up on the roof. He told me to lie to them, because he told me they were bad people, and it's ok to tell white lies to bad people. Initially, I said I would do it. But then my inner honesty got the best of me and I showed them where my dad was. After that incident, my dad disciplined me and told me, I'm a total failure. He said, I would never be rich and successful in this world by being honest. Lying is how you get rich and successful. And so during my teen years, I started to lie. It felt good. I also noticed that I was actually pretty good at lying and was pretty good convincing women to let me get my way by giving false promises. At first, this inner moral thing I have in mind was fighting against this immoral actions of lying and deceptions. But what I learned to quiet down this inner voice of morality was to do more of this stuff. Watch more porn, fantasize more. After I graduated from school and went to work for a big corporation; telling white lies seemed to work very well in generating a lot of corporate profits. I knew the company wasn't being honest, but heck I was making big bucks and with the money I've got, I was fulfilling my addictions easily and there are no shortage of women who were willing to let me do anything to them; knowingly of course I have the money to fund the lifestyle. Anyhow, as years gone by, this internal pressure grew more and more and more. The voice in me basically said, this is not who I am. I've been trying to ignore this voice for many years and I think it was just one day I became so sick I had to go into an emergency room for a possible burst appendicitis. That was my lowest point in my life. I certainly didn't want to live this life anymore, so I was determined to recover from my illness. It wasn't until a few months after I was on the road to recovery when I decided; maybe I should tell the truth. I used to, but I stopped when I was young. So I began expressing little by little the truth and as you probably know; there are many people out there who don't want to listen to the truth about their own unhappiness and they get angry and confrontational by me expressing the truth. The strange thing is that, as I express more of the truth, the internal pressure in me came down and for the very first time, I noticed that I didn't really need the addiction to relieve this pressure anymore like a healthy patient does not need medicine to relieve a sickness. But this pressure still exist, because what I realized is that even though I expressed so truth, it was a measured truth because I still have a price tag on my head and lacked the complete freedom to express myself. I was fearful if I express the total truth, I would lose my high paying job, condemned in the industry, shamed and blacklisted or face harm to myself. Then one day, the company had a corporate meeting where managers and workers can express their free thoughts in how to rescue the difficult financial predicament the company was facing. I remembered clearly that my heart was pounding so fast it's almost like I'm going into cardiac arrest. I didn't know what happened but I mustered the courage and stood up. I told the whole truth about why the company was doing so poorly; things the CEO didn't want to hear and none of the managers were willing to say because it would mean complete termination. I spent 45 mins on the podium and I knew completely what would happened next. After the meeting, all the managers didn't even look at me. They were good friends of mine before I confess. After I told truth; I was like radioactive to them. A few came by and said; thank you for expressing the truth. Truth that they knew could save the company from financial difficulty. The interesting thing was that, after I told the truth, it was a though a huge weight and pressure in me had fell. I no longer was caring this heavy burden that I kept for so long. Anyhow, 2 days later, the HR flew from head office and called me into the office with a regional manager for a metting. I knew it was about that incident. The HR had prepared a legal document and with the pen asked me to sign this. I asked for what? For your probation. I said; what probation? Probation that you should not shame the CEO in front of the workforce. I told the HR that the CEO gave permission for us to speak the truth in how to help the company recover from certain financial difficulties and I did just that. Basically it's like Ford where you can buy any color of car you want, but it has to be black! That's what the HR wanted me to do on probation. I said no -- I did nothing wrong. And legally I didn't. So they backed down and took back the legal document. But it was pretty obvious that my career in that industry was finished. After I was let go, no one would hire me and yes, I was depressed for a while, but I kept myself busy and put myself through school to be trained in a different career. And now in a different industry, I am expressing who I am and while I'm not popular with some of my clients who eventually didn't hire me anymore, I finally felt a sense of FREEDOM. Freedom to express who I am. I don't need to fake this or that and don't need to win some popularity contest. And when I reached this feeling of Freedom, I didn't have anymore of this internal pressure because I am doing what I want to do, to be who I am and to be working in the industry I love.

What is my viewpoint on sex now. I still have sex, but I am doing it not because of an addiction, but rather an expression of love towards someone I truly love and she loves me. So I don't cut off sex like cold turkey; but rather now have a better appreciation of what sex can do if you are doing it with someone who you share your heart with, not like a piece of meat like I used to treat them in the past.

I believe that overcoming an addiction is to find the source causing the addiction. It's usually not a physical, but psychological and once you overcome that limited beliefs and fears you have, overcoming the physical addiction (chemical or physical) is easy without going into a relapse. Otherwise, trying to overcome the physical addiction without working through your psychological beliefs and fears will simply shift from one addiction to the next.
 
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A.Goldberg

macrumors 68020
Jan 31, 2015
2,371
8,718
Boston
This thread popped up in my notifications so I just thought I’d reiterate to @TSE my well wishes in the process that is recovery. I hope things are going well (and whether they are or not, keep up the fight).

While I personally haven’t faced addiction/alcoholism myself, as I mentioned I’ve seen hundreds of patients in the throes of it and recognize if it was easy for one to manage addiction wouldn’t exist. I have the upmost respect for anyone who takes the effort to seek recovery.
 
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TSE

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 25, 2007
3,091
819
St. Paul, Minnesota
I got help June 28th with a twelve step program. I have gone to a meeting over zoom everyday since then. Besides a slip two weeks ago, I have been clean ever since. It hasn't been easy. There have been times when all I could do is wait out the withdrawal and negative emotions that I numbed for fifteen years with my substance of choice.

I have seen and felt things I haven't seen since I was a boy. The beauty of the stars at night. Learning and cooking new recipes. The small pleasure of taking a walk and sharing a smile with a neighbor. I am getting glimpses of what life is really about when you aren't powerless.
 
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Hieveryone

macrumors 603
Apr 11, 2014
5,178
2,062
USA
I don't know anyone who has, sadly. One of my exes, she's secretly relapsed from what I know. Party girl, popular, attractive, attention seeking, good looking rich girl, and sadly for her, too cool to stay away from some things. Went to rehab, but IMO just found it easier to get through her "troubles" the "easy" way. It's really sad to see.

If coffee is an addiction, yes I did beat it. I quit caffeine for maybe a year or so. But then I went back on it, but only because I'm on a super low carb diet, basically keto, and I have no energy without it. So if that's a relapse then fair enough. But that's why I'm back on it. It helps me keep my weight down. If I could eat carbs, I would be off it like I was for the longest time.
 

TSE

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 25, 2007
3,091
819
St. Paul, Minnesota
I havan't.. If anything, i've gone BACK to one. Drinking coke
Diet Coke is absolutely delicious to me. What stopped me was I discovered that if I don't buy it, I don't drink it. So when I'm at the grocery store I don't even go in that aisle.
 

MSastre

macrumors 6502a
Aug 18, 2014
598
265
Currently dealing with fighting a problem that has plagued me since childhood. Been getting professional help and it's been a very long road. I lose motivation to fight when things are going "ok". I'm becoming more aware of the patterns in life that lead to me falling down again, I'm just not sure how to break them. I almost wish I would hit rock bottom and everything crash down in my life so that I am backed into a corner and can't hide from it anymore.

Any good stories or personal experiences here?
I'm 76 now, used to work in bars & nightclubs (musician), drank heavily, and also smoked between 2 and 4 packs of cigarrettes a day. Quit cigs in '75 and alcohol in '85 with no relapses. The key for me was operating under the "potato chip" theory ... "you can never have just one". That reduces your urge fight to one instance .. the one now. Resist it and you are golden. You also have to want to quit seriously. Half assed want doesn't work.
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
19,261
21,270
The Misty Mountains
Quitting coffee was pretty easy, although I think it was an addiction. I’m still fighting with sugar have been fighting it all my life, although I went through a 25 year period of a vigorous exercise routine in combination with relative youth, where it faded into the background.
Back to drinking coffee, but one 16oz cup per day, not two. Sugar, I’ll be fighting that till the end, never kicked it. I know this is not a big deal. It might be if I weighed 300 lb, but I weigh 220 (5’10”), about 40 lb over weight and holding with exercise 3x per week.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,728
10,889
Vilano Beach, FL
Back to drinking coffee, but one 16oz cup per day, not two. Sugar, I’ll be fighting that till the end, never kicked it. I know this is not a big deal. It might be if I weighed 300 lb, but I weigh 220 (5’10”), about 40 lb over weight and holding with exercise 3x per week.
Yeah, that's not a biggie, even with being very carb/sugars conscious, I still love using a sweet cream in my morning coffee (I use an all natural brand, it's only 4g sugar for 2 tbls, 35 calories).
 
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